Self Advocates of Semiahmoo’s Alexander Magnussen, Danielle Burns, Asma Patel with Semiahmoo House Society executive director Doug Tennant and involvement co-ordinator Charmly Smith at the Disability Pride Parade, held June 15 in Richmond. (Contributed photo)

‘We have reasons to be proud of ourselves’

South Surrey self-advocates participate in march, conference to promote inclusion

B.C.’s first-ever Disability Pride Celebration and March was an important opportunity “to be out there and be loud and proud.”

Alexander Magnussen, chair of the Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo – a group formed by Semiahmoo House Society members to advocate, raise awareness of and support their peers with diverse abilities – was among many from the Semiahmoo Peninsula to participate in the event, which was held this month in Richmond as part of the 2017: Inspired by Love conference.

Touted by Inclusion BC officials as a celebration of “the pride we have for Canadian citizens of all abilities,” Magnussen said it was all that, and more.

“I think the march is important to have because we need to show that people with disabilities have reasons to be proud of themselves,” Magnussen, 28, said in a summary of his thoughts on the march and conference sent to Peace Arch News last week.

“We are still quite a minority group and we need to be more visible. This march is one way we can be more visible and proud.”

Magnussen and SAS advisor Jill Glennie said participants were pleasantly surprised by the reaction of motorists who honked and waved support during the June 15 public display.

“Everybody was sticking their hands out (to wave),” Glennie told PAN.

Magnussen was on the steering committee for the march, and said it was kept “short and sweet” to accommodate participants who had mobility issues.

The conference, held over four days at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel, was about advancing “real inclusion.” It included a pre-conference day of “presentations, conversations and social events” aimed at inspiring new ideas and action, as well as workshops and speakers.

Magnussen, who has autism, was one of two keynote speakers to address attendees on June 16. The seasoned presenter said he spoke about “positive relationships and why it is important to have relationships with people.”

Artwork by Magnussen was also featured “everywhere” at the conference. The colourful prints remain available for purchase at SHS, 15306 24 Ave. For details, call 604-536-1242.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Suspect of interest ID’d after man shot near Surrey school

Police don’t know what motive was in shooting near Surrey-Delta border

Santa pics help Langley charity

The jolly old elf is aiding a scholarship and a sponsored Christmas Bureau family.

Double graves coming to Surrey civic cemeteries for the first time

Surrey council approves cemetery bylaw changes, which will also allow upright headstones

Cloverdale’s Christmas shopping kicks off with Ladies’ Night Out next week

Check out Cloverdale businesses, vendors, and more Thursday, Nov. 30

VIDEO: MP details what gang and housing announcements mean for Surrey

Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai speaks about recent funding commitments

South Surrey traffic busy on Black Friday

Traffic slow across region as shoppers search for deals

Kelowna Rockets slip past Vancouver Giants: ‘When you don’t execute, there’s got to be changes’

Giants coach frustrated after his team’s 3-2 loss at Langley Events Centre

Last days for notorious homeless camp in Chilliwack River Valley

One local sports fisher frustrated by slow response from police and all levels of government

Fuel spill follows train derailment near Hell’s Gate

Empty grain train jumped the track after a landslide

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Cougar confronts man in Clearwater

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind

Most Read